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Old 05-15-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
pureambient
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Smile music for e-readers - free ambient music download - development possibilities

Hello,

I'd like to see if there is any interest in having music specifically designed for e-readers. I've been making ambient music since 1989, and I believe that this type of music, because it's quiet, unobtrusive, and relaxing, might be the ideal thing to load onto your Kindle or other e-reader device to enhance the reading experience.

Could people let me know if they would be interested in this?

I envision it in two forms:

1) For Users: Ambient music that you can download and manually place onto your e-reader device, to enjoy while reading your favourite book.

2) For developers and authors: Embedding ambient music and sound effects into e-reader content - as e-reader technology progresses, I look forward to a time where developers would work with authors to embed music into books or graphic novels, and ambient music, sound effects and other sounds would "accompany" the story. Any developers out there reading this - please get in touch with me.

I can be reached via www.pureambient.com or directly at pureambient@yahoo.co.uk

In the meantime, to test this theory, there is an entire ambient album/sampler available for download at the pureambient store, www.pureambient.com/zencart

- select "Download Free Album"
- select the pureambient.com ambient sampler

Once you have downloaded the sampler (it's completely FREE) simply load the files onto your device, and try out ambient music as the perfect adjunct to a nice quiet read.

Also, if users and developers will please get in touch with me, or comment here, I would be happy to engage in a discussion of the possibilities of expanding the role of music in e-readers, and in particular I am excited about the possibilities of making music and/or sounds a part of the e-reader experience - particularly when they perfect colour e-ink, and we can then think about embedding music not just in books, but also in magazines and graphic novels.

The sky is the limit. Please let me know your thoughts!


Cheers, Dave
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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Just to let others know - it does appear you have to register at the site to download the free items unless I missed a link.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
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no music on my reader for me, thanks. that's why i have a stereo, computer with rhapsody and a small mp3 player. besides, when possible i prefer quiet when i read.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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Hello FF2

Yes, you are absolutely right, you do have to register (and I apologise for not mentioning that, I did not think it important at the time) - however, as the owner and operator of both pureambient.com and the pureambient store, I assure you, you will NEVER receive emails or any kind of advertisement whatsoever if you do choose to download the free sampler.

When I said "free", I really meant free - not just of charge, but of any or all encumbrances.

The store itself is new and untested, it's still really beta and little details like the registration haven't been foremost in my mind - I was really more motivated by trying to get the last 40 years worth of music I've created or been involved with, digitised and available for download in digital format.

This allowed me to get OUT of the business of CD manufacturing, which was a serious loss proposition.


But please rest assured, your details will ABSOLUTELY not be used for ANY purpose whatsoever except to assess (internally) download frequency, patterns, etc - I am a musician, not a marketing guru or salesman.

I hope this addresses the concern you expressed - thank you for pointing it out - I absolutely should have mentioned it, that was my error, and I do apologise.

No messages of ANY kind, in any format, will be sent to you, ever, should you choose to download the free sampler of ambient music (and/or, the free active sampler that is also there).


all the best

dave
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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Hello Basschick

Thank you for your message. I totally understand, some folk want quiet - total quiet - when they read. Depending on what I am reading, I sometimes want quiet, but I have also found, for myself (personal preference of course) - that sometimes I like to have ambient music on while reading.

Since the Kindle, and other e-readers, have the facility to load music on to them, I was really just interested to see if people would listen to very quiet, very unobtrusive music whilst using their e-reader.

I can see that you would probably NOT - and that's a great, honest answer. However, since ambient music is not like ordinary music, my thought is - it's so unobstrusive, a lot of the time when it's on your brain just "tunes it out" - in fact, the best ambient music should be sort of "invisible" - you can listen to it if you want, or, it's just there - as part of the atmosphere.

So I guess in your case, I would be very challenged - I would have to come up with music so ignorable, so quiet, that to you it would equate to silence - not an easy challenge.

I think that Brian Eno and a few others have actually created ambient works that are capable of being completely "tuned out" and requiring only 1% of your mind to "listen" to while the other 99% is reading - and for some people, a very quiet, ambient accompaniment to their "read" is probably the same as the silence that you "require" when you are reading.

If you see what I mean.

In any case, thank you for your reply and your honest comments - they are absolutely appreciated in any case.


all the best

dave
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for the additional info.

As for ambient music, when I was in graduate school I always had classical music in the background. I was fortunate - it was WFMT (35 years later and I still remember its call signal) which was generally commercial free or limited. I also had my reel-to-reel which had hours of music or "reel" commercial-free music. Over the years I've grown out of the habit and having a partner who could not abide by any sound while she read - well, music disappeared.

I've not really used the mp3's I loaded on the kindle - probably because you cannot control their play order. I may revisit your site and see what "transparent" tunes you've created.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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Hey Dave I downloaded the free album and am looking forward to trying it out! I LOVE ambient music when I read and although I have multiple ways of listening to it (iPod, phone, etc.), having it on the Nook makes it handy when I don't want to schlep a bunch of electronics to the beach or backyard.

I LOVE the idea of having it as part of a book as one reads! What an amazing idea! It would be so cool to be reading about a scene at say a carnival, and have that type of sound playing in the background! I love it!

PS - I did register on your site, but I wasn't comfortable giving you my birthdate and phone number so I made them up. I think you are putting people off by making that required information.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:38 PM   #8
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Ill have to check out the sites when I get home tonight.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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My husband is an ambient musician. Ambient music is good for readers who like background music because it can be pretty unobtrusive for the most part. Some dreamlike ambient puts me to sleep though, it's just too soothing.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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Hello FF2,

Wow your post really brings back memories, I still have three reel to reel recorders but sadly, at the moment, none of them are set up or in use. I remember making compilations such as the ones you are describing...and I remember commercial free radio too !

I didn't realise that you can't control the play order on the Kindle, that is disappointing, but if you selected your tracks carefully enough, it might not be problematic.

The tracks on the ambient sampler were chosen for maximum ambience, but it's entirely possible that some of them may still be too "active", and I think each person might have an ideal "mental" list of the best tracks to load up...

If it were me, I would probably have something like this

Eno - Thursday Afternoon
Eno - Discreet Music (the title track only)
Eno - Neroli
Fripp - A Blessing Of Tears

Right there, 3 or 4 hours of really beautiful ambient that I think would be suitable for a good read.

There will ALWAYS be the problem of some folk needing silence and others wanting music while they read - again, it's just differences/preferences but I do understand that if your partner needs silence, that could limit your ability to try out music while you are reading...I am lucky, my partner and I both love having music on while we read.

Even something like Fripp & Eno, Live, Paris 1975 is OK for us, it has some loud and dissonant parts, but the overall feel is so amazing, that we're OK reading to that...so I tend to be able to go even more active than your basic ambient style - up to a point.

If music is too busy, too active, or too loud - it is NOT suitable for reading...so as with everything, you have to find the right balance...


happy reading/happy listening

dave
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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Hello Melissa,

Thank you so much for your excellent and positive reply.

I should first of all clarify about the registration - I used a tool called "zencart" to build the store, I needed some format to put the music into, a structure, and I knew nothing about that technology. With a LOT of help from my business partner Ken in California, I just about barely managed to set up the store.

The registration business - well, we never discussed it, and the default was "on" and I did nothing about it, I just left it figuring it was not a big deal. As I said before, I am a musician, not a salesman!

However, now that I've had a couple of people here mention it, and especially you mentioning your birth date and phone number - well, if I had even been aware, I would have certainly shut THOSE off, because I am just as uncomfortable as you giving out a lot of details - and, rightfully so - one should always be careful.

So I have no issue with you putting in invalid data - that's fine, and in fact, the next chance I get, I am going to go in and see what I can do to either at least make the registration less painful. The first thing I will TRY to do, is remove the request for phone and birth date - I have no need for that information.

Now that that is out of the way, I would say, probably the most important point you make is when you speak about the sounds/music embedded in the story. This is an idea that I have been interested ever since ebooks first appeared, and I am seeking developers and authors who are interested in moving towards this kind of collaborative effort.

Your example of reading about a carnival and hearing carnival sounds - that is EXACTLY the kind of thing I am talking about. Of course, for those readers who still require absolute silence - there would need to be an option to "Turn Soundtrack Off" as need be.

But I really think that music, just as music enhances a film, could be used to great effect - during frightening passages, some dark, creepy ambient music - during happy or peaceful events, something light and lovely...

All the way up to a full colour graphic novel with hard rock music blasting throughout, the sounds of motorcycles racing away during a chase scene you are reading...the possibilities are endless and very, very exciting!

So you raise an interesting point here, you are a normal e-reader user, and you would LIKE to have sounds embedded into your stories. So would I !!! I think the idea is really exciting, and since I've been recording music for many, many years, and I have a huge catalogue of ambient sounds - I also record and play rock music, synthesizer music, and now, classical music - so what I would like to contribute, is the experience and expertise of 40 years of music making and recording skill, to combine this with the work of today's finest authors, to create a fantastic, hybrid technology of colour ebook with full sound track - music or sound effects playing throughout the entire novel or book!

And with the way of the world, I should think this technology is closer than we all might think - I certainly hope so!


In any case, thank you so much for your post, and I will try to amend the default settings of the registration to make it less annoying! I particularly wanted you to know that I never chose those settings, they are just the zencart defaults, and I am SURE they can be altered.


Thanks again for your excellent message, and thank you for your enthusiasm and support of my "embedded music" concept - I hope to make it come true over the next few years.


Cheers!

Dave
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:10 AM   #12
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Hi Michelle,

Thanks very much for writing, please do - as well as the free downloads in the pureambient store, there is also an enormous amount of other music on the web site - in the discography section, you can preview dozens of ambient, semiambient and active tracks, to get a feel for what the music is like...

...or, on the News page, we are currently featuring several free full length downloads (with no registration whatsoever, by the way!) of recent guitar synthesizer demos and compositions, so you can download those as well as the two free albums in the pureambient store.

I hope you will have the chance to download the free ambient album and maybe try out some of the tracks on your device, and let us know if it "works" for you or not.

I am getting the feeling that there is a sizable group of people that DOES enjoy music while using their e-readers, and I really think that in particular, ambient music is a very suitable type.

Not just the music on pureambient.com either, but I know from experience that the ambient music of Eno, Fripp, Nelson, etc. works very well for myself and my partner when reading...it's just maybe not something people think of though, ambient is not that well known, but once you start listening to it, well, for me at least, I find I can't stop - it's VERY relaxing.


All the best, and thanks very much for your message.


Dave
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #13
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Hello Joykins,

Well, you have pointed out perhaps the only real downside to ambient music - it can, does and will put you to sleep!

But for me, that is one of it's best qualities. I have done many experiments where I listened to ambient music at very low level all night long, and if done right, it can really be a lovely experience. Generally, using one long, very ambient piece on endless repeat seems to work best - I've used Eno - Thursday Afternoon, Eno - Neroli, and Fripp - A Blessing Of Tears and in varying degrees, they all work beautifully.

You fall asleep listening to the repeating yet endlessly changing patterns (most of the ambient music that I favour, and create, is "loop" based, using repeating patterns) and if you wake, or half-awake in the night, it's there to help you return to sleep - so as well as being a great adjunct to reading, normal books or e-readers, I would say that ambient music is also eminently suited to sleep to.

Why not? So you have pointed out a real quality of ambient music, it can actually relax you to the point of sleep - and in this hectic world, that's a very, very good thing I would think.

Thanks very much for writing, I really appreciate your post and your thoughts.


Cheers, Dave
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #14
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Melissa,

I meant to also say, thank you very much for downloading the album, please do let me know how you get on with it - if you are able to load it onto your device, and you have a chance to read and try out the music...once you do, please let me know how it works for you.

Even down to a song level, as a musician, if you tell me, well Dave, these five songs were great to read to, but these four were "too busy" or "too distacting" - that will really help me in future.

I do plan to start DESIGNING music especially for e-readers, but I need to know from you, the real users, what songs work and what songs don't work, what is "too ambient" or "not ambient enough" and so on.

So any comments you have at all, general or song-specific, once you've had a chance to load it up and try it - please do let me know.


Thank you again!

Dave
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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Hello everyone,

Just a quick note to say, I believe I managed to disable the requirement for date of birth and phone number in the pureambient store registration process. I've left street address on because I need to have that for customers that purchase items using a credit card, but I hope that by simplifying the registration, I've made this a BIT less painful.

If you don't want to put in your actual name or address, I have no issue if you just put in dummy values - since what I want is for you to be able to download the free ambient album and try it out in your Kindle or other device...



I hope this helps.


Thanks again for your feedback!

Cheers, Dave
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